What You Might Not Know About Retired Numbers

Tuesday’s column from CBS Chicago

mike_ditka_1963_11_24(CBS) The Chicago Bears are retiring the retirement of numbers.

On May 24, the team announced that next season Mike Ditka will become the 14th Bear to have his jersey number retired – and that he will also be the last.

With more retired numbers than any NFL franchise, the Bears apparently need to make sure that they have enough numbers to field a team in the future, something that Hall of Famer Dan Hampton understood.

“It’s simple math,” said Hampton, whose No. 99 isn’t retired – and apparently never will be. “This is a franchise with so many great players. If everybody’s number got retired, it would diminish the honor in a way. I understand. The trap of it all is that if you played for the Bears, you’re one of many. If you played in Tampa, what is there, a handful of guys?”

Two, actually. Lee Roy Selmon (No. 63) and Warren Sapp (No. 99, like Hampton) are the only Buccaneers who have had their jerseys taken out of rotation. Perhaps you knew that, or perhaps you didn’t. But either way, here are some other things you might not know about retired numbers.

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